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Get to Know Audrey Eschright

headshot of Audrey EschrightAudrey Eschright’s keynote speech is Creating a Third Wave of Free/Open Source Software, proposing that if Free Software is the first generation, and Open Source is the second, current efforts toward creating an inclusive and sustainable world make up a third generation that we can start to form into a broader plan.

Audrey is a software developer, community organizer, and activist based in Portland, OR. She founded Calagator, an open source community calendaring service, and co-founded Open Source Bridge. She is the editor and publisher of The Recompiler, a magazine about technology and participation.

We asked her a few questions about her insights on open source via email.

What got you into open source?

I wrote a long thing about this for my talk at last year’s conference, but the short version is that it was a readily available way to build my technical skills and get access to information I was interested in. Later, the communities I participate in became the driving factor.

What do you want people to take away from your upcoming keynote?

There are so many things we take for granted because that’s the way we’ve seen them done, and particularly when you work in technology, so many of us are under 40, or even under 30, that we just don’t have a historical perspective. So I want people to understand that open source is something that people created, in response to very specific technical and economic events, and we don’t have to do “open source” the way we see it now if that’s not what works for the people who participate.

What sessions are you excited about?

Frances Hocutt’s session on dealing with toxic work situations, because that’s such a difficult but common situation to be in, and I don’t think we talk about it nearly enough. Kronda Adair’s workshop on WordPress-based businesses — she’s awesome and her advice has helped my own business so much. And Lindsey Bieda’s talk “Hardware Hula Hoops and Flow”, because I think that’s going to be really fun.

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